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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Palmer, Theo

Description

Description

Maternal infections during pregnancy have been linked to an increased risk of autism and other neurological disorders in the child. Dr. Palmer's laboratory has found that giving a mild infection to rats and mice during pregnancy causes changes in the production of brain cells in the developing offspring, a process which might also contribute to the development of autism in humans. Maternal infection is likely to affect fetal development via proteins that are produced as part of the mother's immune response. These proteins could affect fetal development in several ways, including by acting directly on the developing fetal brain or by impairing the ability of the mother's placenta to supply blood and oxygen to the fetus. In this study, Dr. Palmer and colleagues will evaluate these two hypotheses to determine how maternal immune proteins affect both the placenta and fetal brain development. If placental function is found to be impaired by the immune response, they will test several clinical strategies aimed at preserving placental function to determine whether these therapies allow the fetal brain to develop properly even in the presence of infection.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

108375

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2009-2011

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)

Project Link

Project Link

Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Stanford University

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

3713

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development | 127500 | 2009 | 3713
Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development | 127500 | 2010 | 3713
Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development | 130000 | 2008 | 3713

 
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